How to Remove a Concrete Walkway

What You'll Need
Protective Barrier

Big renovation jobs, like removing a concrete walkway, require some heavy labor and machinery. There are several different reasons why a homeowner would want to remove a concrete walkway. Depending on your landscape renovation, you may want to create a new path, make room for a patio, or just remove it for new grass. While removing the concrete walkway is not hard, it is very labor intensive. 

Step 1: Set up Protective Barrier

Before you start working on the concrete walkway you will want to make sure that no one is able to walk through the area. With the use of the equipment, and not being able to hear, you will not know if someone is behind you. A simple temporary fence will be adequate for the job and let people know that you are working in the area. Run the fence the length of the walkway that you are removing. 

Step 2: Start Making Cracks in Concrete

With the use of a 16-pound sledgehammer start banging away at the concrete walkway. You want to concentrate your blows to the edge of the concrete first before hitting the center. With concrete, you will be removing small chunks at a time rather than large slabs. 

Step 3: Rent Jackhammer

If you have it in your remodeling budget, you may want to consider looking at a jackhammer for busting up the concrete walkway. It still requires a lot of labor, but it will get the job done in half of the time. 

Step 4: Break Up Small Pieces

Start along the edge of the walkway and work your way in to the center. Once you have cracks that are forming, you can concentrate on them until they break apart. Remove the chunks of concrete as they break away. This is will keep you safe from flying debris if you hit them with the sledgehammer. 

Step 5: Place Pieces into Wheelbarrow

As the pieces from the concrete walkway break away, place them in a wheelbarrow that you positioned near the work area. This will not only keep the place clean, but also make sure you do not have to handle each piece twice. Once the wheelbarrow is full, or at a manageable weight, then dump it into a receptacle.

Step 6: Use Bobcat for Removing Large Slabs

If you want to work a little faster removing the concrete, you can use a bobcat tractor and lift up large slabs in the bucket. This will not only make short work of the project, but also give you a way to dump the pieces into the back of a truck for hauling to a fill or town transfer station. 

Step 7: Work with Friends

Because of the intense labor involved in the process, you may want to enlist the help of a few friends. You can both work together on the sledgehammer or take turns pounding and removing chunks of concrete.

Step 8: Clean Up For Remodel

Once all of the concrete walkway is removed you should then go over the area and remove any left over pieces. Level out the ground with a rake and prepare it for whatever you have planned for.